Meet the Western 4W Driver Crew
A publication like Western 4W Driver doesn’t just happen. It takes an incredibly diverse team of passionate individuals who’s shared love of telling the stories of Western Australia enables us to produce a publication of this standard.
Co-editor & PublisherBorn in Geraldton and having moved 34 times since then, Chris has called much of WA home. His working career is almost as diverse as places he has lived in. Farm hand, abattoir worker, soldier, refinery worker, scuba instructor and IT engineer before becoming a business owner. He started his own successful IT company and in 2016, with 25 full time staff, the business was sold to a publicly listed entity. With such a diverse history, Chris is utilising the skills and experience gained to drive Western 4W Driver forward.
Co-editor & Graphic DesignerWith over 25 years of experience in graphic design, Karen worked in the printing industry for 13 years prior to becoming a mum and brings a wealth of experience to the magazine. Along with Chris and their daughters, she loves getting away and exploring our beautiful country in their 4WD. When she is not working on the mag she can usually be found painting an amazing watercolour. A grammatical perfectionist and proud of it, she is the editorial brains behind Western 4W Driver.
Founder & ContributorOriginal founder of Western 4W Driver, Nick started the mag back in 1989 and has explored much of the state since. He enjoys his photography and the adventure he finds in favourite places like the Pilbara, desert country and the Southwest. While still contributing the odd yarn, he has now retired and is content to explore the bits of the country he hasn’t seen yet with wife Susie.
ContributorNick’s better half, Susie likes nothing better than taking on the biggest dunes in her Ranger or whipping up a roast in the camp oven. She has a wicked sense of humour and a writing style to raise a smile every time.
Historian & AuthorCommonly known as “Mr E”, historian and author Ian Elliot has been writing for Western 4WDriver magazine since 1994. He had 25 years of employment in the Mapping Branch of the WA Lands Dept., principally carrying out research and field work for Geographic Names Section, leading to an enduring interest in feature name origins, explorers’ routes and remote desert travel. Ian was Senior Conservation Officer, a founder member of Track Care WA and the Kimberley Society, and was employed as an Assistant Trainer by Eureka 4WD Training & Safety for some years, and is a partner in producing the Explorer Series trip books.
Author and Camp Oven CookEarth mother and cook extraordinaire, Jo can turn a can of beans into a gastronomic tour-de-force and she loves nothing better than doing it at her campsite a long way from the comforts of home.
Phil Bianchi (OAM)
Historian & AuthorDedicated bush history buff and remote traveller, Phil prefers trackless desert country to dirt roads. With his famous funny bone and thirst for experience he’ll inspire you to take the path less travelled. Phil has written or worked on multiple local history book titles which are available through Hesperian Press.
Anthropologist, Archeologist, Geologist & Survival ExpertHaving lived in various remote locations with Aboriginal people, Peter is very familiar with survival strategies used in arid conditions. This experience has been utilised by the Australian Defence Force where he has been employed or seconded to demonstrate and lecture to the Australian Army and Air Force. He has lectured on desert survival and strategies for surviving in the Southern Hemisphere to soldiers and marines in Britain and France and provided training for foreign forces including those from USA visiting Australia on exchange programmes. Much of his research interest with indigenous peoples has involved their use of plants for the manufacture of items of daily use or for food or medicine. Working closely with the natural science sectors of the institutions in which I have been employed, and with herbaria, zoological gardens and other specialist organisations, I have prepared environmental and botanical material for publication and review. I have lectured in USA, South Africa, Indonesia, The Philippines and Brazil on Australian Ethnobotany. My consulting company, Australian Ethnography Institute P/L has been instrumental in establishing “useful plant” and “bush tucker” gardens in the National Botanical gardens in Canberra, King’s Park and Botanical Garden in Perth and has worked on similar projects with Mackay Regional Botanic gardens and a number of private gardens in New South Wales the Philippines, USA and Brazil. He has published numerous reports on Australian Aboriginal Sites and Resources in Western Australia, two books on useful Australian plants and several books on local history and personalities mainly in NSW. Peter continues to explore and enjoy the huge variety of landscapes and environments in Australia.
Fish WhispererThis man knows where all the fish live and how best to wrangle them onto your plate. Best of all, most of the fish live somewhere at the end of a 4wd track. Dip a line with JB.
Uncle Dick Stein
PhotographyIt’s not hard to be a photo expert when you’ve been messing about with cameras and newspaper darkrooms since 1964. Especially if you have not poisoned yourself or set fire to the place in those intervening 55 years. That’s Dick Stein’s claim to excellence and he’s been in the trade ever since then. Now retired, he likes to spend his days with studio photography, dance shows, and scale model building. He’ll be judging the “ Capture The Moment “ quarterly contest with the prize awarded by Camera Electronic and there will be a wealth of tips and tricks of the trade to read about in future issues of Western 4W Driver magazine…so don’t miss an issue!
Ron & Viv Moon
Travel WritersRon was born in the remote Northern Territory of Australia and grew up in the Flinders Ranges of SA. He inherited his wanderlust from his world-wide wandering peripatetic father. Joining the Army in 1965 he’s been driving 4WDs and exploring the backroads of the country ever since. The early years were all to do with diving and spearfishing with his first cross-country (no tracks) 4WD expedition being in 1975. Since 1985 Ron and his wife Viv have been full time writers/photographers specialising in 4WDrive touring and adventure travel in out of the way places in Australia, Africa and elsewhere around the world – diving, canoeing and hunting combined with history and photography, being their major passions. They have written 21 guidebooks on remote areas of Australia with all titles going into numerous editions – their Cape York guide was THE guide for over 30 years to the region and went thru’ 14 editions. They now write guides exclusively for Hema Maps. Ron was Editor of 4×4 Australia Magazine for 15 years; he has been their Editor-at-Large for the last 18 years. Viv has written two best selling outdoor cookbooks and held a monthly column in 4×4 Australia magazine for nearly 30 years. Between 2007 and 2012 they drove their Nissan Patrol around the world. Since then they spend 2-4 months each year driving their Dodge Ram somewhere around North America. The rest of each year is spent wandering in Australia. In February 2020 they are shipping their Dodge to Africa to start yet another jaunt around the world.
Ron & Lyn Mitchell
Travel & Opinion WritersLyn Mitchell and her hubby Ron have been travelling the outback for decades. Their first foray into the wilds was to drive from Perth to Kalumburu in the Kimberleys in 1975. They had to obtain permission to enter what was then a Benedictine Mission and tee up fuel for the return journey to be delivered on the three-monthly supply barge from Darwin. It was one hell of an adventure and it fired up their love of wild places and the great outdoors. Lyn has been writing about four-wheel driving and their exploits ever since.
- Alex Garner – Travel, opinion, technical
- Amanda Burton – Travel, opinion
- Ben Broeder – Mechanical, auto electrical, photography (Owner – Goldfields Off Road)
- Ben Smith – General (Owner – Kimberley 4×4 Tours)
- Bryan Mitchell – General
- Dr Kristina Lemson – Botanics
- Linda Bloffwich – Travel writer, opinion
- Neville Passmore – General
- Shane Watts – Geo-touring